|Birth: ||Feb. 16, 1917|
|Death: ||Feb. 3, 2010|
Sister Mary Nora O'Connor, SSND
First Profession August 3, 1937
Margaret Mary O'Connor was born February 16, 1917, in Chicago, the only daughter of Michael O'Connor and Nora Marie Clancy, who had four sons. Her mother Nora had been born in Chicago, and Michael had come from County Cork, Ireland, at the age of 12.
Margaret Mary was baptized at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Chicago, and was educated at Little Flower Grade School and the Academy of Our Lady. There the constant contact with our Sisters strengthened her desire to enter the Congregation, a desire she had felt since early childhood. Her family encouraged her vocation, especially her eldest brother, Carmelite Father Neal. She entered the Milwaukee Motherhouse as a Candidate in September 1934, was received into the novitiate with the name of Mary Nora, and was professed on August 3, 1937.
Soon after profession, Sister Mary Nora was assigned to Holy Assumption School in West Allis, Wisconsin, as teacher of junior high students, and remained there for nine years. In her autobiography, she recounted, "Because of an almost exaggerated awe I had of Religious Sisters, it took me a few years to realize fully that I was actually one of them."
Transferred to St. George in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sister Nora "made a resolution to guard against any repetition of such an attachment to a community" as she had felt at West Allis. However, she later wrote, "The resolution failed."
Always attentive to each person she met, Sister Nora taught high school Latin, math and religion from 1948 through 1976. Three times she taught at her beloved AOL, and also taught in the aspiranture at St. Mary in Praire du Chien, Wisconsin, and then at Caroline Academy in Mequon, Wisconsin, when the aspiranture moved to the then-new motherhouse there.
Sister Mary Nora taught at Notre Dame of DeKalb High School during its entire six-year existence, 1965 -1971. She was one of the pioneers who lived in the school while the motherhouse there was built, and continued, after the school closed, as activities director for the retired Sisters there. When the motherhouse was sold and closed in 1976, Sister Nora organized the auction of its contents and farm equipment, and with one other Sister, was the last to lock the doors. As a final touch, to prevent the complete separation of SSND from the DeKalb buildings, Sister Nora put up a tall ladder and set a medal of Mother Theresa on the ledge over a corridor window.
Over the next years, Sister Nora was the local leader at Sacred Heart in Hubbard Woods; then she volunteered for a year at St. Margaret of Scotland School in Chicago. She returned to high school teaching for four years at Providence High School in New Lenox, then "retired" as a driver at AOL Convent. Shortly after her retirement, St. Stanislaus Kostka retirement convent needed a local leader, and Sister Nora sadly but willingly left her beloved AOL to serve the retirement community there.
In 1996, Sister Nora finally retired back at AOL, where she lived until her weakening health made it necessary for her to move to Resurrection Life Center.
Sister Nora loved life and went about her classes with zest and commitment. Although she was a strict teacher, her students loved her for her fairness, her liveliness and her insistence that they learn. She saw the good and the potential in each of her students, fostering their creativity. Sometimes they surprised her with their inventiveness, as when the aspirants treated her to a home-made play of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"—in Latin!
Sister Nora was a strong woman, straightforward and authentic. In her earliest autobiography, she had described her father as "lovable, pious, hearty, kind and sensible." Her admiration for him evidently led her to develop the same traits in herself.
At Resurrection Life Center, Sister Nora developed a special ministry of her own, providing a listening ear to many of the staff and residents. Though largely confined to her room, she built relationships, and people sought her out. Other residents, as well as staff, often commented that they could always go to her when they needed a listening ear, and an occasional word of advice. Even in the last days, when she could hardly talk, she would look at a visitor sitting next to her bed and ask, "Are you comfortable?"
Sister Nora died peacefully at Resurrection Life Center on February 3, 2010, attended by several SSNDs, who had been at her side during her last days.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord!
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Created by: AnnieSings
Record added: Feb 03, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47517883
Blessed Theresa, pray for her!|
Added: Feb. 28, 2015
Added: Feb. 28, 2015
Added: Feb. 28, 2015
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